Do branding ads drive sales?

This is an obvious question with an obvious answer. YES. However, I’ve never been a huge believer in the measurement techniques to determine to what extent branding ads drive sales. A reader recently commented on another post bringing up some great questions about what we are truly measuring with branding ads. Brands do tons of marketing research to understand engagement through Vista studies and the like, but they’re incredibly time consuming and expensive. I am a direct marketer at heart, so to me, if it’s not measurable, it’s not worth it. I get a kick out of marketing folks who say it’s OK that their budgets for branding are unmeasurable but are religious about measuring direct response. The idea of direct text messaging is a good start but not really going to move the needle for the next year or so. For brands, I think there still needs to be a call to action. Brands that use branding ads to develop a brand image should save their money and focus their PR effort on branding. Advertising should be reserved to measurable techniques that drive sales. I don’t think brand engagement is maximized with a glossy ad. I do believe that it’s attainable with free product give-aways and other product promotions that get the consumer to interact with the product / brand. Brands should be looking for a positive interaction between the product and the customer. A good marketing campaign should ideally drive customer engagement and sales. What do you think?

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